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Budget snapshot: Key items affecting aged care

SAVINGS MEASURES

  • Aged Care Provider Funding – further revision of the Aged Care Funding Instrument
    The government will achieve savings of $1.2 billion over four years through changes to the scoring matrix of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) that determines the level of funding paid to aged care providers. The government will also reduce indexation of the Complex Health Care component of the ACFI by 50 per cent in 2016‑17 and establish a $53.3 million transitional assistance fund to support providers.
    Savings to be redirected elsewhere in the health portfolio.
  • Medicare Benefits Schedule – pause on rebate indexation extended
    The government will achieve savings of $925.3 million over two years from 1 July 2018 by extending the pause on indexation of Medicare Benefits Schedule fees for all services provided by general practitioners, medical specialists, allied health and other health practitioners until 30 June 2020.

SPENDING MEASURES

  • Aged Care Provider Funding – improving the targeting of the viability supplement for regional aged care facilities
    The government will provide $102.3 million over four years from 2016‑17 to target the aged care viability supplement more effectively to areas of greatest need by replacing the current outdated remoteness classification system with the more up to date Modified Monash Model. This will bring the viability supplement into line with other health programs.
  • Healthier Medicare – trial of health care homes
    The government will provide $21.3 million over four years from 2015‑16 to trial the Health Care Homes model of coordinated primary health care, which was recommended by the Primary Health Care Advisory Group’s Report — Better Outcomes for People with Chronic and Complex Health Conditions. The trial will support eligible primary care providers to deliver coordinated care, management and support to approximately 65,000 voluntary participants with chronic and complex conditions. Funding will be provided to health care practitioners by redirecting fee for service payments for Chronic Disease Management Medicare items for participating patients. An evaluation of the impact of the pilot on improving participant health outcomes and reducing avoidable hospitalisations will be considered in 2018.
  • Home and Community Care Services in Western Australia – continuation
    The government will provide $392.9 million over two years from July 1, 2016, to continue the National Partnership Agreement for Home and Community Care services in Western Australia. The National Partnership Agreement (NPA) provides funding for entry-level community care services that support older people, and younger people with a disability, and their carers to remain living in their own homes and communities. The extension of the NPA will allow for continued negotiation to transition Western Australia Home and Community Care services to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, in line with other States and Territories.
  • My Aged Care – My Aged Care contact centre
    The government will provide $136.6 million over four years from 2016‑17 to support the operation of the My Aged Care contact centre. The funding will assist the contact centre to meet the significant increase in demand for assistance from customers interacting with the aged care system.
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